Page:Chertkov - Christian Martyrdom.djvu/37

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His duty is to care for the needs of his family, to watch the conduct of the children, correct their faults, and teach them the law of God. When the father dies, his place is taken by the elder of the brothers; and in the case of incapacity of the latter, his place is taken by the one most capable.

The system of education among the Spirit-Wrestlers is most simple and uniform. As soon as the child begins to speak and understand, his parents commence verbally to teach him prayers and psalms, and to tell him something out of the Holy Writings; and they thus continue to instruct him in the Christian doctrine. When the children have learnt a few prayers and psalms they accompany the elders to the meetings, recite in their turn the prayers they have learnt, and sing psalms together with the others. Not only the parents, but every Spirit-Wrestler regards it as his duty to teach every child something useful whenever he has the opportunity to do so, and to keep him from evil whenever he has occasion.

Owing to such education, the spirit of the parents by degrees passes into the children; their ways of thinking take deep root, and the tendency towards good is most strongly encouraged by good examples. It is said, and indeed seems quite natural, that amongst a number of children, one can distinguish